That of Virginia Torrecilla (Cala Millor, Mallorca, 26 years old) is the story of a great champion. And not just about green. The Atlético and Spanish national team midfielder stands as a great example of overcoming football. There are plenty of reasons for it to be so. In May 2020, she had to undergo surgery for a tumor on her head. A cancer from which he recovered, using radiotherapy and chemotherapy, without erasing the smile from his face.
With great naturalness and already from the green, which he returned to training just a week ago, the one known in the rojiblanco dressing room as ‘Vir’ speaks in an interview for AS on how he is carrying his return after cancer and after having also suffered a car accident with his mother, which became very serious and is now out of danger.
How are you after training on the pitch again?
I am exhausted, but very excited to return. I have thought about this comeback many times and it is being much better than I imagined.
What is costing you the most?
The physical. Little by little I am gaining kilos, rhythm and I am touching the ball, which is the important thing.
Have you ever thought that you would never play soccer again?
Yes. There have been critical moments. Not only because of my illness, but also because of my mother’s accident. But football gave me back my illusion.
How are you doing with your mother?
My mother is a fighter. I may not be able to walk again, but it was she who pushed me to play again. And I’m going to do it for her. I will fulfill his dream of playing after overcoming cancer.
What role did soccer play during your illness?
Soccer has been everything. When I was diagnosed with cancer and told that I couldn’t play, it was a tough stick, but at that moment I just wanted to live. Then, football has not only saved my life during cancer, because it has been my club and my teammates who have been there with my family. It has also given me life. The only day I left home was when my team played. Also, with chemotherapy they told me that it affected me less because I was an athlete.
Have you been afraid of losing qualities in football?
I have been afraid of losing quality on green. Thank God I don’t have any sequelae from the disease. As I see myself, I think that the quality in the touch and others I have not lost. For now, I think I have the same conditions in the absence of gaining muscle and strength.
Has having told everything naturally helped you?
I wanted to convey that it is something that can happen to anyone. With my mother I have had the worst moment of my life. But the most important thing is that my mother is alive and will be home shortly. If you add to that that I have overcome cancer and that I can play again, it is something very nice. That’s why I have to tell it. I want people to see that, despite the bad times, you have to move forward.
“I want to retire at Atlético and give back to the club everything it has done for me”
How did you feel when you saw your teammates shout ‘Por ti, Por Vir’ before the games?
My teammates and the club have behaved very well and have always been by my side. Due to COVID-19, I couldn’t go to Mallorca and they were my second family. I have suffered much more in games from off the field than from within. I have never experienced something like this and I realized that when you experience it as a player it is very different. When you can’t play it’s horrible.
Is it more red and white now?
Yes. Not only because of what the club has done for me, but because of everything it has done for my family and my mother. I would love to retire here to give everything back to you.
What ambitions motivate you now with the ball?
Redebuilding with my team is my greatest illusion right now. I would love to go back to lifting titles with Atlético and, above all, to return to the National Team.
How do you see the team heading into the new season?
We have made great signings and we are going to enjoy it. Madrid and Barça have done good projects, but I think the season is going to be beautiful and different.
What is left of these last years?
I never imagined getting here and above all having helped so many people. I feel privileged for having handled everything I have been through well and, above all, that people look at me with the eyes of a fighter. Is very pretty. I prefer that they look at me with the eyes that I am a fighter and a good person than that they look at me with the eyes that I am a great footballer. For me, all this has been a learning process and I hope and wish that people who have gone through similar illnesses or accidents like my mother’s are strong and that they keep all the good of it.
He has reported insults on social media …
I have been more active on social media because I have been inactive in sport. That is why I have been more aware of everything. People can have their say as much as they want. In my case, what they think bad about me does not matter to me. I am the person that I am and the person that I want to be. There are things like people picking on me when I was sick because I was bald. I don’t care about those people, and I don’t care about those who don’t want women’s football. To all of them I tell them to stand aside and not to be disrespectful.